File:Knights of labor seal.gif|thumb|right|250px|The Seal of the Knights of Labor
The '''Knights of Labor''' ('''K of L'''), officially '''Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor''', was the largest and one of the most important American labor federation|labor organizations
of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence V. Powderly
. The Knights promoted the social and cultural uplift of the workingman, rejected socialism and anarchism, demanded the eight-hour day
, and promoted the producers ethic of Republicanism in the United States|republicanism
. In some cases it acted as a labor union, negotiating with employers, but it was never well organized, and after a rapid expansion in the mid-1880s, it suddenly lost its new members and became a small operation again.
It was established in 1869, reached 28,000 members in 1880, then jumped to 100,000 in 1884. By 1886 20% of all workers were affiliated with the KOL, ballooning to nearly 800,000...